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War for the Youth

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Please, Tommy... please.”

 

The words escaped his sickly lips like a prayer. The desperate need for silence, for peace... all the man felt was rage, rage... hurt, sadness. Hell, almost anything you could think up being a negative emotion.

 

The mental pain nearly outweighed how much he hurt on the outside too... the amount of fire that coursed through his very veins. A crank, savage, not human... they looked at him like a monster. Despite not having an accessible mirror, he could describe every little detail of his appearance, just through the traumatic look of fear on his friends’ faces.

 

And... after the struggle, it was finally over.

 

Newt was gone.

 

The knife that he had redirected to his own heart, the subtle grin trying to inch it’s way onto his indistinguishable face... The last thing he saw, was his best friend reaching for his hand before his head hit the floor.

 

NEWT!

 

 

 

And... that was the last thing he remembered. At least, until he heard voices...

 

“ Come now brother... you’re the one supposed to reassure me—“

 

“ I hate them... I hate them for this. Why did they do this to us?”

 

“ At least we’re not out there, yeah? Here? You can be safe.”

 

“ I love you, Lizzy. So much.”

 

“ I love you too, Isaac.”

 

“ L—Liz...”

 

 

 

“ I remember the day I first saw you in that bed... Newt, we’ve grown, so much since that day.”

 

“ I know... I know.”

 

“ And... we’ll continue to find each other, right?

 

“ Of course... always.”

 

 

 

“ ...Tommy..” He whispered out the word with a hushed pair of dry lips. Even through the darkness, he could hear the city around him crumbling to ash. Hearing the distant explosions and cries of the few survivors left. He wanted to feel sorry, he wanted to make the small voice in the back of his mind, repeatedly apologizing for the destruction grow louder.

 

But he didn’t do this.

 

He didn’t want this.

 

They did this to themselves. 


All they wanted, was Minho.

 

It was rather bittersweet, one for the other.

 

He didn’t mind... he really didn’t, despite sounding as if he was feeling sorry for himself. Which I suppose, couldn’t be helped. What’d you expect from a man who’s bleeding out on the floor. Newt just wanted his friends to be happy. That’s really it. There was no glorious end of the rainbow for him, like Vince preached on a daily, no. He just wanted his friends to live, not just survive.

 

Especially Tommy.

 

Smiling weakly as WCKED tower met with the city floor, sending a large murk of absolute rubble to ripple through the fallen city. A large wall of dust and ash enveloped him in a soft motion...

 

And then everything was still.

 

“I was always pretty sorry at goodbyes, ay Tommy?”

 

“...”

 

“ Yeah. But we won’t have to ever say goodbye again. Not once we make it to Paradise.”

 

Newt smiled, trying to hide the subtle tinge of hopelessness in his heart.” Yeah. Once we make it there.”



“...”

 

 

A pained gasp for breath erupted from the blond’s throat, crawling up his throat like an arachnid. Coughing and sputtering out as if he just learned how to breath.” Holy shit... holy shit...” He viciously cursed, his rasped voice managing through the constant harsh breathing that rattled his lungs. However, his breathing started to slow at a thought, a very specific thought... that crossed his mind like a comet.

 

I’m alive.

 

Vigorously patting his chest for a heartbeat, Newt winced as the stab wound that still held true to it’s misery.” Barely.” He countered himself with a playful huff, taking a moment to observe the fallen empire around him. Miraculously, two large cement block almost perfectly roofed themselves over the boy’s weak frame.

 

Almost instantly, he checked his arm. It... it didn’t look great, but it looked... okay? It looked like the first few days he actually started noticing the veins. And that was nearly three weeks ago. The black had subsided to a pastel gray inside his skin, on the stronger parts of the infection, however, slowly started to gradate into a inky black.

 

He shivered at a rather unsettling imagining of his appearance from the night before—

 

Tommy.

 

Almost instantly, Newt sat up, causing an absolute ripple of agony to pierce through his nerves, making him cry out. The knife wound, directly implanted within the center of his chest, barely missing his lungs. Letting out a shaky exhale, he continued to glance around the murky atmosphere for something clean to wrap his now most likely infected gash.

 

He had to get up and find shelter, supplies... something. Perhaps there was a miraculously untouched communication hub, one that he could tune into Vince’s channel... and find the others.

 

“ Okay. Mental agenda: Wrap wound... find new clothes... leave the city... and find the Safe Haven.”

 

Newt then realized that much of the plan hasn’t changed for him. Just the now solo party, and injury he needed to wrap up. Shouldn’t be too hard. Hell, if he could survive a night with a stab wound and a collapsing city, unconscious even, this should be a walk in the park.

 

Even though it felt like a walk in hell.

 

He could barely even stand, legs shaking violently before he could take in a few strangled gasps for air. Clinging onto the nearest block of cement, he tensed his upper body to remain still whilst he regained his composure.” Shit, shit, shit...” He cursed violently, breathing shallowly as his hand held onto the dried crimson gash in his chest. Thinking more on it, he realized how much of an actual miracle that he was still here... breathing.

 

Newt wanted to believe that the wound didn’t puncture him too deeply, but with every battered breath, he could remember the moment he struck the blade through his own skin, so sickeningly vividly. Glancing down with a soft bead of sweat from his forehead, he stared at the dried crimson that chalked his his hands. Suppressing the urge to simply sink back to the ground, the blond pressed his back up against the concrete wall behind him.” ‘ve got to find the others.” He inhaled confidently. No damned wound would stop him, not even the flare. At least now he had somewhat of a conscious. He couldn’t really tell clearly through the pain. He only had any natural instinct a creature would when they were injured.

 

So, it wasn’t saying much...

 

But it was hope.

 

Gritting his teeth as he took his first step forward, he started to slowly stagger through the city’s streets. Everything around him was reduced to ash and soot. Newt was astonishing lucky to have survived such a devastation of an empire. Where he and Thomas last were, it was thankfully away from the fall radius of the towers of WCKED. He tried to remember where Gally said his rebel stations were underneath the city. Maybe one of those fallouts survived the attack. He could get some new clothes, clean off his wound, the necessities.

 

The subway.

 

The abandoned subway station that they captured Teresa at... that name, it made his veins boil with enkindled rage. All of this, because of one person. Maybe that was the reason why Newt snapped at Thomas the way he did, because despite everything that had occurred because of her... he hesitated to act on a plan that save his best friend. Of course, after the uncharacteristic outburst, Newt apologized, but... it wasn’t long after that, Thomas sought after him, discovering how this came to pass.

 

He had a way of showing sides of Newt that no one else had. And the blond currently missed that trait. While sauntering unsteadily through the roads to the transit, he pondered what Thomas would say to him at this very moment.

 

“ Newt, I know you’re way to stubborn to give up now. C’mon. You still have to teach me how to fish, how to make Minho laugh, and pull a prank on Gally. Stuff like that, I want to experience it with you, at the Safe Haven.

 

Newt let out a huff of a laugh at his imaginary image of his best friend.” Good that, Tommy. You were always so damn pessimistic.” He teased with a soft coughing fit.

 

“ Don’t stop now, Newt. For me man.”

 

He closed his eyes in determination, continuing to walk for what seemed like hours. Even though, in reality it was around a thirty minute hike until he reached the familiar stairs of the train station.” Stairs. Fitting for somebody who has both a stab wound and a bloody limp.” He chuckled darkly, clasping onto the rail like an IV as he slowly descended from the surface down to the underground tunnels. To his surprise, there was a clear path to the secret tunnel leading to Gally’s base. Clear enough that is. But he could climb a few rocks.

 

Yeah. It’ll be fine.

 

Slowly, Newt made his way up the collapsed roof of the subway. Stopping halfway up the slow hike, he saw the small opening, half covered with the very same metal roof that used to shield the underground from the surface. Grimacing, he clutched tightly onto his chest, using his good arm to snake up the tunnel with struggle.” Come on, come on...” He urged himself eyes shut tightly on themselves with a refusal to reveal any sort of fear. With one final kick on his limp leg, he was sent far enough into the small space to clasp onto the ladder that lead him further down into the fallout. Taking a minute to let air return to his deprived lungs, he pressed his feverish head to the cold metal of the ladder. Tired onyx eyes trailed to the tiny room below, he started to climb down the small railing.

 

Nearly groaning with delight and relief at the sight of a couch, Newt collapsed shamelessly onto the soft cushions for the concept of a proper nap. Even then, he was afraid to sleep. He could wake up as a crank, die and become one, or perhaps simply heat up from the fever of an infected wound. Letting out a loud growl by his own tasks, he reluctantly rose from the couch to glance around the room for supplies. Water, bandages, gauze, and new clothes. He could breath, knowing that he’d have enough supplies to at least get him back onto his feet. Even then however, he would have to evade the cranks outside... or maybe even inside, the once mighty walls of the city.

 

Baggy eyes fell over his now bare chest. His wound was infected. That much was clear, but even then... it was hard to complain. Hell, another centimeters to the left, he’d have busted a lung. Or even then, an inch and he’d have stabbed himself in the heart. He couldn’t comprehend the amount of luck he had been both blessed and cursed with. Shakily bringing a finger to press against the sickening purple skin underneath, the blond let his anxious heart slow to a soft and slow rhythm. The anxiety of his own current health was evidently too much to bare.

 

“ Breathe, Newt. Breathe.”

 

An imaginary voice soothed from the back of his mind, making his mouth pinch shut, eyes shutting upon themselves determinedly. And then he opened them again, composure rewritten like the reimagining of a storybook ending.

 

“ I can do this... for Brenda, for Minho, for Gally, and for Tommy.” He stated with sheer confidence, a familiar tilt of his cheeks creeping his way onto his face.

 

After a painful experience of cleaning his injury, he wrapped his skinny torso and surveyed the room around him for an ideal choice of clothing. He then saw a darker brown cloak that sunk to his knees, the same white tee he left to change into, along with the same pants. Glancing in the mirror, he huffed with a slight grin.” Lookin’ sharp mate.” Newt winked to himself, swaying in the darker cloak softly to take a glance at a chase’s physics.

 

Lastly, his "lucky red scarf" the same one he insisted on taking to the fight, but Gally refused.

 

‘Maybe that’s why things went to shit.’ He thought to himself bitterly, but shook off the thought in favor of wrapping the soft material around his neck. Nuzzling into the familiar feeling, he quickly packed the rest of the medical supplies, and canned foods. People used to pick on Gally for his paranoia... but when Newt sees him again, he’s going to give the man the biggest hug; whispering a soft thank you.

 

Re-emerging to the surface, he winced at the sudden wind that sent the murk sitting at the bottom of the earth flying to meet his face. Pressing his goggles to his face, and readjusting his scarf to go over his nose, he took a large step forward. This same step, being a meaningful one, as if to say...

 

You can try all you want... whoever you are, whatever you are. I’ll get back to my friends. You can bet your sorry ass on it.

 

And with that final declaration, Newt slowly pressed through the storm, murmuring his friends names from under his breath like a prayer.

 

“ Brenda,”

 

“ Gally,”

 

“ Minho,”

 

“ Tommy...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ Mr. Janson, you’re going to want to take a look at this.”

 

The man’s gray complexion clashed against the monitor’s blue light, revealing the black veins traveling up his scarred face. The two cranks from the following night... did a number on him.

 

And he was going to kill that little shit for it.

 

“ What am I looking for?” He questioned coldly, trying to ignore the unquestionable anxiety of finding his next syringe. The man at the monitor pointed to the subway entrance at the corner of their drone’s camera shot.” That kid traveled with A7, right?” Janson scoffed disbelievingly before his eyes widened with astonishment.

 

A5...”

 

A woman instantly stood from her seated position at the name.” Impossible. He had the flare... h- he was killed—“

 

“ Apparently not, Mrs. Agnes.” He cut off irritably, letting a soft smirk cross his face.” Seems that luck is on our side for the both of us, dearie.” He taunted, making the woman’s eyes narrow with determination.” If he’s alive, that can only mean that he’s been cured.” The man nodded.” Bingo.” Gently pushing the man on the monitor aside, he zoomed in on a familiar blond.” Not only can the kid give us the cure, but he can lead us to the rest of his miserable friends.”

 

Teresa cringed at the thought of Thomas being extracted by WCKED, but she understood that it was a necessary sacrifice.” I understand.” She murmured, making Janson chuckle.” Do you?” She visibly tensed, thinking back on the previous night. She saved Thomas, in the consideration that this was it. There wasn’t a city of people anymore to protect... but now? She had a second chance.

 

She took it as a clear sign when a helicopter of WCKED’s pulled her to safety only a few feet away from the eyes of The Right Arm. The men there told her that she was here for a reason, and that she was pathetic for throwing it all away for the well-being of a single boy.

 

And she then realized— that they were right.

 

But even though she and Newt didn’t get along all well since her transition back to WCKED, she still recognized his kind heart. Newt was the "Glue". Appropriately named for his levelheadedness and compassionate exterior. So now seeing that she’d be the reason Newt’s chance of life is stripped from him once again, Teresa felt her heart shatter subtly. But in favor of helping the people that needed her, she glared angered at the blurry image of the blond.” I do, Janson. We should send the immunes after him, group X.”

 

“ You read my mind, Mrs. Agnes. I had them called up from their cells.” He spoke, the door behind them opening ominously on cue. Two large boys stood protectively in front of the smaller boys and girls behind them. About ten teenagers that they’ve been holding behind the scenes. All of them possessed a capability on the battlefield.

 

“ You called us?” The ebony individual spoke, eyes cold and unforgiving, as a redhead’s hand fell on the boy’s shoulder cautiously.

 

Janson smiled masked, eyes trained on the leader of the group.” Lads, lasses, we’ve got a chore for you... a field trip of sorts.” The boy chuckled.” There’s nothing we’re going to willing do for you, Ratman.” The name made the elderly man growl from under his breath.” There’s a difference in this however... in exchange for a crank, we will let you go.” Teresa had to hide her face, knowing full and well that he was lying. But they, didn’t know that. They never even heard the man speak before, just... stare at them, menacingly, like lab rats.

 

“ In exchange for a... crank, you’ll give us freedom?” A mocha woman questioned with a astonished expression frozen onto her face, making Janson nod his head.” Yes.” The man in front of the group glared at the man suspiciously.” I’m not buying it. What’s so special about some stupid crank anyway?”

 

Janson smiled at the question, answering confidently.” This one has been cured.” The group collectively froze at the statement.” If you bring him here, we won’t have any use for immunes anymore. You’d be free to leave.” The boy blinked, letting out a soft smirk.” Boys. What say we catch ourselves a crank?” He questioned threateningly, making the boys and girls glance to one another enthusiastically.

 

Teresa’s sad eyes landed on the unsuspecting group with guilt, pressing a gentle hand to Newt’s face on the monitor.” I’m sorry...”